Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The cost of free, opera in Brooklyn edition

Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu sang with the Met Opera Orchestra and Chorus in Prospect Park on Friday night. We had our wine (if not the best, at least it was free). We had our picnic dinner. We had a small hill and jumbo screens to see the performers well. We didn't have latecomers stomping all over our space like at the Philharmonic last year. We did have smokers. We were surrounded in a ring of smoke, you might say. Supposedly, there was an announcement at the beginning to please not smoke, but I missed it and thus didn't have the courage to go up to one particularly egregious bunch and plead for their forbearance. The singing and music was still great, despite the low-circling police copter during the first half. Although, seven encores is overdoing it a little bit, worldwide opera stars or no. (We left after four or five for the hour-plus subway ride home.) They should've just been honest and added a few of the songs into the printed program instead of going on and on as if people were screaming for more. Still, I admit I got goosebumps during Alagna's version of "Nessun dorma." Somewhere, perhaps, Pavarotti was smiling.

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